Editor’s Note: Thanks to Peter Alessandria, photographer at GreatProductShots.com for the following guest post about DIY product photography.
1. DIY Product Photography: The camera
DON’T use your cellphone. Please. It’s not because I am a camera snob. The main problem with your cellphone camera is the lens. The wide angle can distort the view of your product. Since you spend thousands of dollars acquiring, designing, developing, prototyping and/or manufacturing your product, you want it to look its best, and the lens on the cellphone will not do it justice. It just can’t come close to the sharpness, clarity, and perspective you’d achieve with a decent camera. Plus, if you don’t have enough light, cellphone pictures look grainy.
DO get a nice camera. If you’re serious about selling and want to present your product in its best light, make the investment. You don’t need to spend more than $300-$400. Buy (or borrow) a great entry-level, interchangeable lens camera, such as a DSLR. I bought my 10-year-old niece a refurbished Canon Rebel SL-1 (including lens) from the Canon USA website for less than $300, and I could probably do 80% of my professional work with this camera if I had to. Afraid of using the wrong settings on your fancy new camera? Shoot in automatic mode, and the photos will still be stunning.
… Continue reading
Along with optimizing your app’s name, writing an app description that sells, and choosing a memorable app icon, mobile apps also need to think about what app store screenshots will best entice users to download. I asked successful app developers for their advice on screenshots, and these common themes emerged.
Your screenshots don’t have to be actual screenshots
“The greatest misconception about app store screenshots is that they actually need to be screenshots!,” says Jonathan Kerns, co-founder of Comparakeet. Hugh Kimora of Mobile Action agrees, noting, “the biggest mistake is taking screenshots of random screens or menu screens inside the app and not highlighting a specific benefit.” Instead, he suggests, “Use a text banner to specify the exact benefit of the app that you are trying to highlight in each screenshot.” In addition, Kerns advises, “Take a look at major gaming apps and the types of things that they do for inspiration. Incorporate a mix of imagery from within the app with short marketing messages and calls to action.” One such marketing message, says Adam Davis, CMO of Thingthing, is to “have one screen showcasing any awards or press coverage you’ve had by adding their badges and logos. This can be very powerful as it adds a great deal of credibility to your app.” … Continue reading
I’ve written before about how a simple photo swap can dramatically increase sales. But how do you accomplish that gorgeous product photography? Should you hire a professional, or can you learn to do it yourself? I talked to businesses and photographers to see what tips they shared. If you think I’ve missed any, please leave your advice in the comments!
First things first. Consider what your product shots should accomplish, and what tone of voice they need to create. Food photographer Sarah E. Crowder writes, “as a photographer, it comes as no surprise that I think high-quality photography is important to your business, but it’s important to get other aspects of your venture in order before investing in photography. For example, you should establish a marketing strategy and go through some sort of branding process before hiring a professional photographer so that you can get the most out of that investment.” Plan the kinds of product photography you need as well as those nice-to-have extra shots that might be leveraged elsewhere. Understand what media channels your product photos will inhabit: e-commerce pages and social media images all the way up to larger-than-life posters or trade show displays. … Continue reading
If this is the year you plan to publish a book, resolve to take solid steps to get you there. Here are five suggestions to set yourself up for success. Ready? Go!
1. Measure yourself
Set up a concrete goal in order to hold yourself accountable to writing. Perhaps it’s a word count, perhaps it’s a defined block of time. But whatever you choose, quantify it. That way, a month from now you’ll be able to say, “wow, I wrote x thousands of words” in January, or “hey, I spent y number of hours doing nothing but writing”! … Continue reading
Clay Ostrom is the co-founder of a consultancy called Map & Fire which helps brands develop Lean Strategy. He was introduced to PickFu in a Medium article by Mike Fishbein, who we’ve also featured here on the PickFu Blog.
Message Testing Polls
Taking Mike’s advice, Clay used PickFu conduct marketing message testing for two titles of a Medium article he was writing. He wanted to see which title and illustration had more click appeal.
… Continue reading
User reviews not only influence other users to try your app, but they help boost your app’s visibility in an already crowded marketplace. We spoke with app creators and got their tips on encouraging user reviews.
Target Early Adopters
When you’re first launching an app, introduce it to enthusiasts who read up on new apps. “Early adopters, like those found on Product Hunt, Hacker News, etc. are far more likely to leave reviews because they understand the importance of reviews on your business,” said Brandon Wright, who works in marketing for ThoughtLab. … Continue reading
PickFu relies on a number of quality controls to ensure that the people who participate in your polls answer them honestly and seriously. And guess what? YOU are one of those quality controls.
When your poll is complete, you should take the time to read through each comment. If an answer is particularly insightful, use the up arrow to the right of that response to “upvote” it. You can tell us what you liked about the answer, and your comment will be shared with the PickFu team (not with the person who wrote it). … Continue reading
A book’s title is its calling card. It’s how a potential reader finds your book. It’s how a satisfied reader talks about it to a friend.
So when it’s time to dream up a book title, what must you consider? We turned to five experts on the topic, who shared these tips:
Word of Mouth
Word of mouth is still the number one reason readers buy books. If you want to maximize your sales and earnings as an author, you need to understand the word of mouth sales process. It all starts with your book title.
Every word of mouth sales process has three simple steps: … Continue reading
Exactly who likes your product or design should never be a mystery to you. Knowing your audience means understanding their needs and desires, and knowing how best to address them.
On PickFu, you always know who answers your polls – each result includes a demographic breakdown of gender, age, income, ethnicity, and education level. But you can also target certain demographic groups so that only certain subsets of the population respond to your poll. … Continue reading
When Steve Jobs talked to Fortune in 2000 about the Mac OS X’s Aqua interface, he delivered a classic line:
“We made the buttons on the screen look so good you’ll want to lick them.”
Today, an app’s icon needs to meet that standard if it’s going to gain traction with users. We reached out to app creators and UX designers to understand how to think about your app’s icon. Here’s what they shared: … Continue reading